Toy Story

January 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm 4 comments

     We have lah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhhhahah-ts of toys at our house. It’s partly the fault of both sets of grandparents being enamored with their only grandchild. It’s partly the only child thing and the desperate need for a little downtime for Mommy and Daddy every once in awhile. But I admit it, it’s mostly my fault.

     Given that early on C never used toys the way they were meant to be used, I tried many things. Even once he started playing with toys a little more, he was rarely on track with the supposed developmental toys. Presidential flashcards at age 4? Yep. The phone book (I know, it’s not a toy, really)at age 6? Yessirree. But playing with the “right” toy at the “right” time in the “right” way? Nope, not so much. Toys were hit and miss. Some stayed in the closet for years past the age they should have, but he still loved them, so stay they did. Others he skipped by with nary a backward glance, and they have long since gone to Goodwill. Some still sit, waiting to be discovered, on his playroom shelves. He has toys for 2 year olds and toys for 10 year olds.

     The most meaningful collection for him, however, is his GeoTrax trains. A fabulous toy I’ve written about many times before, and one that remains a constant in his life for many, many years now. A reward for trying a new food (see here), his collection of GeoTrax is massive. He can name each part, when he got it, and what food he ate to get it – and in order, no less. We’ve built monster tracks all over the house and everyone who tries it loves to play with it – adults included. C doesn’t play with it so much now as build it, which would be fine if he would ever willingly take it down…thank goodness for the little playroom tucked in the back of the house that company never seems to see.     

     I suspect long after he’s done playing with it, his GeoTrax will still be around, again mostly because of me. For me it’s a memory, a journal of his path along this difficult path of eating. Unlike him, I don’t remember the food he ate to get each piece, but I can look at the entire collection and know it is representative of his struggle, our struggle, with something so incredibly difficult.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , .

Boys A boy’s best friend

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Holly's Mom  |  January 27, 2009 at 5:04 am

    What a great story.. and a good memory! He should be so proud of what he accomplished, and it is so tangible with his geotrax!

  • 2. T$  |  January 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

    i would say, in comparison to other kids i know, you do pretty well keeping the number of toys in check. it’s amazing to me that after all of these years he still needs “help” taking apart the track. i know he doesn’t really, he wants someone to be with him and he doesn’t really like taking it apart. there’s no fun in that. and i noticed at christmas, “testing” the track isn’t as much fun for him any longer. it’s all in the building. which is counter to that other toy with the marbles and the track that i can never remember the name of. since he can’t quite build it himself yet, it’s all about the testing, even before we’re done building it.

    He definitely does hate taking it apart, and hates doing it alone even more. You are exactly right about the marble thing, too. One of these years his interest in the toy will be equal with his ability to play with it. At least, I think that will happen someday!

  • 3. pixiemama  |  January 27, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I can’t imagine ever parting with a train that isn’t totally broken (insert long story about that here, wherein every well-meaning soul who has ever seen a cheap train toy anywhere has purchased two, one for each of my sons, who subsequently nearly DIED FROM DESPAIR when the cheap toy broke).

    GeoTrax are, as you can well imagine, a huge hit here, too. We gather them mostly at birthdays and holidays. I love them, too, for their sturdiness, for their ability to stand up to repeated – repetitive! – use. And yet I resent the amount of money I spend on AAA batteries because someone sees fit (Finn) to run a train into the wall and just leave it chug-chug-chugging there while he wanders off to eat his lunch.

    Um, yes, “Died from despair” just about sums it up. I TOTALLY know what you are talking about.

    Our battery budget is pretty wicked too. We ended up getting this cool battery storage thing that hangs on the wall and has a tester and organizes all your batteries. As you can imagine, C LOVES that thing – spent months showing everybody that walked through the door exactly how it works.

  • 4. robinaltman  |  January 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I’ve heard GeoTrax are incredibly cool. They came after my kids’ time, so I don’t know a lot about them. Guess I’ve got some research to do….


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